Calm Kings Thwart Royal Challengers
Kings XI Punjab won the toss and elected to field first. RCB named Chris Gayle in the starting XI, a player we all have been waiting to see in action. The big man walked out to face Glenn Maxwell in the first over of the game. The Gayle Storm seemed to kick off as he got 20 runs off the first over with two sixes and a four. However, in the next over Sandeep Sharma uprooted his stumps before trapping Kohli LBW too. With the wickets of Parthiv Patel and Yogesh Takawale falling in the powerplay as well, RCB managed to score 44/4 in the first 6 overs.
With the prospect of another collapse knocking on the door, Yuvraj Singh played well along with AB de Villiers in an effort to calm things down. The 41-run partnership between the two came to an end when de Villiers fell after popping a catch at cover. Albie Morkel was the next to depart after trying to get overly aggressive and played the ball on to his stumps off Balaji.. RCB then lost Yuvraj Singh in the 15th over reaching a score of 98 at the loss of 7 wickets.
With Starc and Aaron at the crease, it was tough to find the runs to post a par target. Gathering bits and pieces from here and there, the 2 kept at it to squeeze out every run that they could. Mitchell Starc fell to a slow yorker bowled by his namesake, Mitchell Johnson in the last over. By the end of the innings, RCB posted a total of 124/8 which though was not a tough ask to chase, but was a fighting total nevertheless.
With Sehwag and Pujara coming out to start the chase, what was needed was a good start to the bowling from RCB’s point of view. Dinda obliged as he struck in the 4th over to dismiss Pujara who was caught behind. Varun Aaron struck in the next over to dismiss Saha, but the credit must go to Starc for taking a blinder of a catch at the edge of the boundary line. At the end of 6 overs, KXIP were placed at 33/2.
Aaron struck again in the 7th over, this time dismissing the dangerman, Glenn Maxwell courtesy of yet another brilliant catch by Starc. Sehwag who was observing the wickets from the other end now managed to build a small yet important knock just to get things back on track for the Punjab camp. Things started taking a positive turn for RCB in the 13th over. Chahal bowled excellently and used his craft to fox both Miller and Sehwag in the same over. With the 2 new batsmen at the crease in Bailey and Dhawan, the RCB bowlers had a chance to create more pressure but the batsmen took easily available singles to ease all the pressure off. By 15 overs, KXIP were looking comfortable at 101/5.
With gaps in the field, the batsmen never really had to take any risk to score their runs. They did it with ease by just working the ball around. The 19th over by Aaron saw 12 runs conceded and KXIP winning to take their winning streak from the last season to 8 matches - the longest ever in IPL history.
RCB did not post a big enough total but still did well in their effort to defend the total. The only problem that they had in the bowling was the lack of wickets in crucial phases of the game. RCB head back to India now with their next match being against SRH on 4th May at 8PM IST at Bangalore.